I often get questions from some students whom I mentor, where the students express interest in knowing what they need to have to attain success in the field of interactive art. It is easy to understand the basis for this question: in other words, it is easy to see where the students are coming from, when they pose the question as to what one needs to have, to attain success in the field of interactive art. To understand where the students who pose that question come from, you have to appreciate the fact that success in the field of interactive art (as in other artistic fields) is often hard to come by. You often come across artists who are sincerely doing their best, but who nonetheless seem to be getting nowhere. So the question arises, as to what one needs to have, to attain success in this particular field.
My experience over the years has shown me that there are at least three things that you need to have, if at all you are to attain success in the field of interactive art.
Firstly, if you are to attain real success in the field of interactive art, you need to have talent. There are those who say that talent is inborn, and there are those who say that talent is ‘cultivated’ over time, through practice. Either way, you need some talent, to succeed in this field.
Secondly, if you are to attain real success in the field of interactive art, you need to have some form of training in the field. This could be formal training or informal training, but either way, you need some form of training: you cannot rely on your talent alone, however outstanding.
Thirdly, if you are to attain real success in the field of interactive art, you need to have connections with the right people. This is the part where most people flop: when they start imagining that they can make it on their own (on account of their outstanding talent and/or superb training). But things don’t work that way in the real world. If you are to be successful at attracting major clients – such as the Financial Services firm that runs the Searscard portal, you have to be connected with the ‘movers and shakers’ in this industry. The movers and shakers in question may exploit you a bit, but you nonetheless need their help, if at all you are to get to the top of the game.